Susanna Perkins, aged 23, an apprentice in Material Science at Superior, took home the ‘Higher Level Apprentice of the Year’ at this year’s Dorset Apprenticeship Awards.

Superior is a Dorset-based manufacturer of high-integrity o-rings and seals which boasts a company-run apprenticeship Academy, offering apprenticeships to students as young as 16, through to graduates.

The Dorset Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the successes and achievements of apprentices throughout Dorset. The awards are sponsored by Geoffrey Warde MBE, and supported by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network.

This is the fifth year the awards have taken place and the first time Superior has entered. The judging panel consisted of Geoffrey Warde, Ian Girling, the chief executive of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rod Davis, the chair of the Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network.

Susanna Perkins, winner of the ‘Higher Level Apprentice of the Year’ Dorset Apprenticeship Award, commented: “I was very surprised to win the award; it was a nice culmination to five years’ hard work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship, which has allowed me to gain work experience, whilst gaining a NVQ and an engineering degree, as well as giving me the skills and mentality required for work.”

Geoffrey Warde MBE, sponsoring the awards, commented: “We received many inspirational applications; the level of applicants in all categories was very high and gave the judges a real challenge.

“The quality of the applicants demonstrates the very strong talent pool that we have in Dorset and how this is benefiting business by employers committing to apprentices and apprenticeships. The county needs skills and apprentices are a very good way of achieving these skills.”

Other categories included ‘Intermediate Apprentice of the Year,’ which was awarded to Aaron Corbin at The Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth and ‘Advanced Apprentice of the Year’ which was awarded to Sam O’Shea at Ocean Automotive in Poole.

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